Stephen Johnson: Net effect of Brexit is good

The decision to leave the European Union will prove a positive one for the specialist finance sector as big banks flounder in the wake of the referendum, Stephen Johnson, deputy CEO and managing director property at Shawbrook Bank, has predicted.

Speaking at the Complete FS Expo in Southampton Johnson said the move would provide a “positive net effect” to the specialist finance community but warned the big banks are in for a difficult period.

“Net Brexit is good for the specialist finance sector,” said Johnson. “Principally this is because specialist lenders don’t have direct distribution or branch networks. And with that in mind it is also good thing for the broker community.

“We thrive in times when mainstream lenders reduce their lending.”

And Johnson warned that this is likely to happen as larger banks look set to have issues moving forward due to the business models they currently have in place.

He said: “Big banks are going to have big problems on the back of Brexit. Their revenues are through the floor and a lot of their revenues are dependent on increasing interest rates. If rates are flatter they are going to be under real pressure from a revenue point of view.

“This means that they are going to reduce lending and leave behind customers which is bad for consumers but good for the specialist lending market.

“Overall I think that it is a good opportunity for us but the downside is what will happen to transactions. We will need to keep a close eye on that.”

Johnson was speaking at the Complete FS Expo which is currently taking place in Southampton.

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